We will take care of your general dental needs in a welcoming environment.
Enjoy your new and improved look with our various options to enhance your smile.
Having a healthy smile can help with appearence and overall confindence.
When life happens, please call our office and we will get you the treatment you need.
Oral Hygiene Care
Non-Surgical Gum Treatments
Crowns & Bridges
Wisdom Tooth Extractions
Root Canal Treatment
X-rays and Digital X-rays
Electronic Claim Processing
ORAL HYGIENE CARE
Having good oral hygiene is very important. Fortunately, there are a few steps to help you decrease your risk of gum disease, developing tooth decay, and other oral problems. The steps to follow are:
- Brush your teeth twice a day and floss every day
- Use dental products that contain fluoride
- Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months
- Visit your dentist twice a year, every 6 months, for cleanings and oral exams
- Eat a well-balanced diet
- Children under 12 should take a fluoride supplement if they live in an area with non-fluoridated water.
Keep in mind these indications that you are practicing good oral habits.
- Your gums do not hurt or bleed when you brush or floss
- Gums are pink
- Your teeth are clean
- Bad breath is not regularly present
Remember, a healthy mouth looks good, feels good, and is good for your overall well-being.
Professional dental cleanings should be every 6 months. These cleanings are schedules for 1 hour. New patient appointments are scheduled for 1 1/2 hours to ensure time to address and explain any dental concerns you might have. They should include scaling, root planning, and polishing. Refer to the information below for a better understanding of these steps.
Scaling: during this process, the dentist or dental hygienist will remove plaque and tartar from all tooth surfaces.
Root planing: the process of cleaning pockets in the gums to treat and prevent gum issues.
Root planing is used to treat moderate to advanced gum diseases. When the gum is inflamed, gum pockets become deeper and may lose contact to the bone inside. The deeper the pockets, the easier it is for plaque deposits to become stuck and make gum problems worse.
Root planing is done by inserting a dental tool called scalers into the gum pockets to clean plaque buildup.
Polishing: this is the last step in tooth cleaning to make your teeth shiny and clean.
Rubber cup polishing uses a low-speed and gentle attachment that contains a polishing paste made of abrasive ingredients for removing stains.
Halitosis is another term for bad breath. Your mouth, being moist and warm, is the perfect environment for bacteria to live in your mouth.
Although it is normal to have bad morning breath; it could be a sign of a more serious problem if you have bad breath all the time. Some causes of bad breath are listed below.
• Respiratory-tract infections such as throat infections, sinus infections, lung infections • External agents including foods such as garlic, onions, and coffee, as well as cigarettes and chewing tobacco
• Poor dental hygiene can leave food particles to decay in the mouth
• Dry mouth caused by salivary gland problems or by breathing through the mouth
• Systemic illnesses such as diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, lung disease, sinus disease, reflux disease and others
Call our staff promptly if you have bad breath with painful, swollen gums that bleed easily or loose teeth. We will do a physical examination of your mouth to determine the cause. If we discover that systematic problems are the cause, we may refer you to your family physician. In severe cases of gum disease, we may recommend a specialized periodontist.
To avoid cavities from forming in the tiny grooves of your teeth your dentist will brush on a coating of sealant. This helps to create a reachable surface to brush plaque away. Sometimes the tiny grooves are unreachable and plaque can accumulate ever for those that brush daily.
Bonding involves adhering composite resin that is matched to the tooth color, to the front of the tooth. This is done to correct damage caused by decay, to change the alignment of the tooth, close gaps between the teeth, or for other cosmetic reasons.
The surface of the tooth is first roughened in order to accept the bonding. A gel is applied so the resin will adhere to the surface of the tooth. The composite is then placed on the tooth and the bonding agent hardens with intense light. Then it is shaped and polished to give a lustrous finish.
Fillings are done to fill in a part of tooth that has been damaged. This process includes removing the decayed material from the tooth, then the affected area is cleaned, and the filling material is applied to the area. This procedure closes off the cracks or openings where bacteria can become a problem.
Depending on cost, the placement of the needed filling, and the extent of repair is needed we will help you in determining which material is best. The variety of choices includes porcelain, plastic, silver, and gold.
• Composite resins are custom made and can be color matched like porcelain. This is a less noticeable route but usually only last 3 to 10 years. Large fillings are not recommended for this choice, as it can chip, wear, and stain over time.
• Silver fillings are the least expensive choice. They are stronger against wear but the downside is they are noticeable due to their dark color. For cosmetic reasons, these fillings are not ideal for the front of the mouth.
SEDATION DENTISTRY/DENTAL ANXIETY
Dental sedation is an option that can be used when a person has anxiety at the dentist. We offer a number of choices for our patients to help make them as relaxed as possible during their dentist visits. Sedation dentistry techniques enable patients to receive dental treatment necessary for a healthy smile and feel comfortable with coming to the dentist office. Various levels of dental sedation can be used, as described below.
Nitrous Oxide Sedation
Nitrous Oxide sedation, also known as “laughing gas” is commonly used to make treatment more comfortable. This sedation is inhaled through a mask that allows the patient to breathe in the medication and puts you in a state of relaxation. Local anesthetic will be given along with nitrous oxide to eliminate pain.
An oral sedative can be given to a patient to take the night before a dentistry procedure or 30 minutes to an hour prior to the dental appointment. An injection of local anesthetic will also be administered prior to the procedure to eliminate the pain.
Intravenous (IV) Sedation
IV Sedation provides medication through a small needle inserted in your hand or arm. Like oral sedatives, IV sedation does not provide pain relief, so a local anesthetic will also be administered. Intravenous sedation allows patients to be awake but in an extreme state of relaxation with little or no pain.
NON-SURGICAL GUM TREATMENT
The bone, ligaments, and gums around the teeth form the foundation for teeth. These structures are the periodontium. When the periodontium is not healthy, it jeopardizes the teeth. Signs of unhealthy periodontium include: gums that are red and bleed easily, bad breath that won’t go away, gums that are pulled away from the tooth, loose teeth, and changes in the position or bite of the teeth. It may be possible to return gum tissue to a healthy state. If you’re having a problem, come in and see us so we may treat it right away. The treatment usually involves a deep cleaning or root planing done under a local anesthetic, along with local antibiotic agents. It is important to have gum issues looked at sooner than later, as gum disease could eventually need treatment through surgery or extraction.
CROWNS AND BRIDGES
Crowns and bridges are used to take the place of missing teeth or restore and enhance teeth that are damaged. A crown, also referred to as a cap, is used to cover a damaged tooth entirely. A crown strengthens a tooth and can dramatically improve a tooth’s appearance, shape and alignment.
Crowns may be used to:
• Replace a large filling when there is little tooth structure remaining
• Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
• Restore a fractured tooth
• Attach a bridge
• Cover a dental implant
• Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
• Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment
A bridge is the best way to fill the gap created by a missing tooth. A bridge is one or more artificial teeth cemented into place using the teeth on either side for support. A bridge replaces a missing tooth both functionally and cosmetically. The materials used can be porcelain bonded to metal alloy, gold alloys, or all ceramic material made to match your natural tooth color. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and appearance.
Teeth use their neighbors for support so when one is lost, they begin to shift into the gap. If not addressed, the teeth will also start to shift inward. The bite could worsen and because of the changes in pressure, eventually result in problems with the jaw. It is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible.
A temporary crown or bridge will be placed into your mouth until your permanent crown or bridge is ready and cemented into place. Bridges and crowns are made by taking an impression of your mouth. The impression is then sent to a dental lab where it can be custom made to fit your mouth and match your natural tooth color.
Bridges and crowns are very durable and can last a lifetime with extra care and good oral hygiene.
The loss of a single tooth can have major impact on your oral health and appearance. Good oral hygiene habits are very important. A tooth may need to be extracted for the following reasons:
• Severe tooth decay
• Prolonged periodontal disease
• Abscess or infection
• Orthodontic correction
• Malpositioned teeth
• Broken teeth or roots
• Impacted teeth
The dentist may advise to have a tooth extracted. Before a tooth is removed, an x-ray will be done to understand the position and shape of the tooth and surrounding bone. You may referred to a specialized oral surgeon on the extent of difficulty.
For a simple extraction, first we apply a local anesthetic to prevent pain and discomfort. The tooth will be loosened with a tool called an elevator and then removed with dental forceps. Once the procedure is complete, the area may be closed with one or two stitches. We will then provide you with care instructions to help lessen discomfort and promote proper healing.
WISDOM TOOTH EXTRACTIONS
The last molars that develop on each side of the jaws are your wisdom teeth. These teeth usually present in the back of the mouth between the ages of 16-20.
When positioned properly and in good healthy condition, wisdom teeth can have a valuable function to the mouth. Though, often problems develop that require their removal. When the jaw isn’t large enough to accommodate wisdom teeth, they can become impacted. Wisdom teeth may also grow in sideways, emerge only part way through the gum or stay beneath the gum and bone.
A wisdom tooth extraction is a routine procedure. The dentist will numb the area in your mouth with a local anesthesia or use IV sedation so you are asleep during the procedure.
After the tooth is removed, we will provide care instructions to ensure proper healing. Some pain and swelling may occur but will normally subside after a few days. Call your dentist if you have long lasting pain or severe pain, bleeding , swelling or fever. Some cases require being referred to the oral surgeon.
ROOT CANAL TREATMENT
Root canal treatment (endodontic treatment) is necessary when the pulp, the soft tissue of the root canal, becomes inflamed or infected or an untreated cavity reaches all the way to this pulp. Treatment may also be needed when deep restorations or trauma to a tooth cause nerve damage. Once the pulp becomes infected, and can begin to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is known as an abscess). Symptoms that indicate the pulp has become infected can include sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets, pain, swelling, pain to biting or pressure, and a bad taste in the mouth. In some cases, no symptoms are apparent and you may be unaware of any problem until a checkup.
A root canal is performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp and disinfect the canals of the tooth. Alternate treatment would be to extract the tooth. Once the infection is resolved, the canal is filled in to prevent any further infection. Usually a core build-up and crown is recommended for restoring a tooth that has had root canal treatment.
An ideal tooth restoration for people who are missing one or more teeth is a dental implant. A dental implant is a metal post that a periodontist or oral surgeon surgically positions into the jaw. Once in place and bone surrounding the implant has had time to heal, a replacement tooth is attached to the post.
Implants are stronger than natural teeth and generally last 10-20 years. They are a more popular treatment than bridgework because they do not depend on neighboring teeth for support.You need to have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant.
Excellent oral hygiene and regular dental visits are crucial to the long-term success of dental implants.
A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and surrounding tissues. There are two types of dentures available, including partial and complete dentures. Partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain, while complete dentures are used to completely replace all teeth. Dentures are made to resemble your natural teeth so there should be no noticeable change to your appearance. In fact, dentures may even improve your smile!
This restoration method is used to restore your smile and mouth function if all your teeth have been lost. The dentures are custom created to resemble natural teeth and are positioned to take the place of natural teeth. Complete dentures are removable and may require adjustments in order to create a proper fit with the gums and mouth.
A removable partial denture is a device used when one or more natural teeth still remain in the upper or lower jaw. They usually consist of replacement teeth attached go a gum-colored plastic base which is held in place in the mouth. A fixed partial denture acts the same as a removable denture, but it is cemented into place using adjacent teeth for support.
New dentures may feel awkward or loose for the first few weeks until the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to keep them in place and you are comfortable eating and speaking. Although this may require some practice you will adjust and enjoy the benefits a full mouth of teeth can provide.
NIGHTGUARDS AND MOUTHGUARDS
Mouthguards are suggested for patients to wear during physical activity and sports where their mouth might get hit. These guards protect the jaw, teeth, cheek lining, lips, and the tongue. Nightgaurds are suggested to patients who grind or clench their teeth at night. This is used to protect the bite and teeth.
Both are custom made from an impression from your teeth that we send to a lab. They are made of flexible plastic and molded to fit your teeth shape. Guards can last from 3 to 10 years.
TMJ stands for temporal-mandibular joint. (Temporal-temple area of skull; mandibular-mandible joint). Trauma, misalignment of the teeth, or excess muscle tension can create problems in this joint. Cartilage cushions the two bones and muscles that are present in this area, but pain and bite difficulties can arise with any problems in this area.
Symptoms of TMJ include:
• Trouble/soreness in opening and closing the mouth
• Pain in the jaw muscles
• Clicking or popping of the jaw
Dental treatments for the condition can include replacing missing teeth, moving teeth, adjusting the bite and filling gaps between teeth. A plastic mouthpiece can used to prevent clenching or grinding if this is a factor to the problem. Surgery may be required to repair a badly damaged joint, if untreated or case is severe.
Cosmetic dentistry refers to a procedure done to improve the appearance or to correct imperfections of the mouth. The procedures are not needed for functionality purposes but can help with overall appearance of a smile.
Teeth whitening is a procedure that can be used to whiten stained or discolored teeth. Two options are available from our office. These are In-House and Tray Whitening and are safe and fairly painless procedures that can benefit most patients.
The In-Office option takes about an hour-1 1/2 hours. The process starts with a gel applied to your gums to protect the soft tissue. A light-activated gel will be applied to your teeth. Then we use the light or laser to activate the gel to make your teeth whiter. We will get impressions of your teeth so you will have a custom made mouth piece for applying as needed, at home. This is the more expensive option but works immediately and with only one procedure.
Tray Whitening is the other option we offer. With this, we get impressions done to customize the whitening trays. When you pick them up, in a few days, we will give you all the steps and care information so you can do it at home on your own.
Veneers are a very thin covering made of ceramic or composite resin material. They are bonded to your front teeth to cover discolorations and to brighten your smile. The process could take 3 appointments, starting with the initial visit for diagnosis and treatment planning. Depending on which process you choose is best for you, the next steps would be as follows:
The composite resin procedure can be done in one appointment. The teeth would be gently buffed to account for the thin depth of the veneer will need. The dentist will then bond and sculpt the composite material onto your teeth.
For the ceramic veneer procedure you will need to come in and have impressions done. Then the mold of your teeth will be sent to a lab for custom fabrication. Once the veneers are ready, could take several days, you will come in to have them put on. The teeth will be cleaned with specific chemicals that will ensure a good bond.
They may take a couple weeks to get used to. With either procedure, we will want to see you after a couple weeks to check that everything is looking great.
X-rays are used to get an image of the whole tooth, supporting bone and gum tissues. This provides black and white images doctors and dentists use to diagnose problems and disease. Without an x-ray, there is no way to detect infection or disease that requires attention.
Air abrasion is a small tool that shoots a fine stream of air and particles onto the teeth to remove decay. It is a more gentle approach and is good for removing the decay but leaving the healthy tooth structure. The particles that are used are silica, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), or aluminum oxide. After the air abrasion is used to remove the decay, the particles and decay are suctioned from the mouth. This is a gental and painless process.
ELECTRONIC CLAIM PROCESSING
Our office chooses to use electronic claims processing. Sending claims electronically to your insurance company, with a click of a button, we can get information submitted in a timely fashion. There is less turn-around time needed for your claim to be processed, and fewer claims are returned or denied. This benefits everyone and is more efficient than sending through the mail.
Intraoral cameras are small cameras that help us to clearly see what the conditions of your teeth and gums are. The camera lets us zoom in to see up close cracks, chips, and diseased areas. This technology allows us to have full-color images that we can see and diagnose dental problems. The images are also a benefit in using as a tool to help our patients see and understand why some treatments are necessary and what we are doing for certain areas.